In May 2012, Chen Guangcheng, the Chinese dissident, was getting ready to journey to New York after his improbable escape from house arrest. About a week before his arrival, an Evangelical Christian pastor from Texas and a New York University law professor took a walk in Central Park. They wanted to discuss the difficulties Chen might face as one of the most high-profile and sought-after immigrants to come to the United States in some time. These men were to become two of Chen’s closest advisers in America, which would create a difficulty of its own. Over the course of an increasingly distrustful year, Chen couldn’t possibly follow their often sharply conflicting advice simultaneously, which left him torn. But for now, as the pair strolled through the park on a Sunday afternoon, it seemed as if they were in alliance and set to counsel Chen in unison. Jerome Cohen, the renowned professor and expert in Chinese law, thought it best if Chen initially spoke with caution, if at all, about his best-known cause: his exposure of the grisly practice of forced abortions and sterilizations in his native Shandong Province as an illegal means of enforcing China’s family-planning policy. Chen’s efforts enraged… Read full this story
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